The latest casualty of Bill Barr’s 16-month rampage through the Justice Department is Geoffrey Berman, who until Saturday had been the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. That office has been investigating Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, among other cases of interest to the president. On Friday, Barr tried to bamboozle the country (and, apparently, bully Berman himself) into believing that Berman had resigned his post. Berman’s day-long standoff with Barr, in which he refused to resign, included a public letter that was an S.O.S. to anyone paying attention, as he assured the public that the “office’s important cases would continue unimpeded”—suggesting that Barr was attempting to obstruct justice by removing him, which Barr ultimately succeeded in doing. The problem is that even if Barr is attempting to obstruct justice, the current legal landscape essentially gives him a vacuum in which to do so unimpeded—unless he is impeached. Normally, any action that raises the possibility of the commission of a federal crime would provide a legal justification for opening a criminal investigation. We saw this happen when Donald Trump fired James Comey—the FBI immediately opened a case into whether the president obstructed justice, an inquiry that was later… Read full this story
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